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Is a Masters Degree in Economics worth it?

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Master of Economics

A Master of Economics degree is geared towards enabling students who already have a solid base of economics-based knowledge to learn how to apply these economic principles to real-life situations. As most economics graduates would tell you, a Master in Economics allows you to hone in on your analytical skills, to utilise your expertise to come up with innovative solutions to a diverse range of problems, and to learn how to master various econometric techniques and software. Given the broad scope of scenarios in which such a skills-set can apply to, a Master of Economics degree is rapidly becoming a popular choice for those pursuing graduate studies, alongside courses such as Finance, Accounting, and Management.

A Master of Economics course is generally considered a social science course which involves the analysis of economic systems. Thus, students have the opportunity of examining systems from production and distribution to the consumption of goods and services. The best Master in Economics programmes are structurally divided into core modules including microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, and econometrics. Generally, economics integrates facets of other social sciences, such as sociology and international studies, and adds its own flavour to them by allowing students to develop their skills in mathematics and statistics. This allows students to draw conclusions based on numerical evidence and quantitative techniques.

In numerous Master of Economics programmes, students are given the chance to specialise in particular areas, for instance, in financial economics, development economics, sustainable economic development or in economic history. This frequently opens the door to those individuals who might later be interested in a career that is orientated towards academia or in economic research. Two famous economics whose names have become synonymous with global economics are Alan Greenspan and Jeffrey Sachs. 

Requirements when applying for a Master of Economics

What distinguishes a Master of Economics course from an undergraduate Economics degree is the depth of mathematical sophistication required. After all, applicants would need a firm grounding in this area, in order for them to make the most of their master degree and to further stretch the boundaries of their understanding. Some universities offer courses in mathematics and in statistics, primarily tailored to those students who are hoping to study a Masters in Economics course and who lack an academic grounding in mathematics. Nevertheless, the most rigorous and best Master in Economics programmes usually state, as an explicit requirement, that the applicants possess a mathematically-oriented Economics degree.

For those who are applying for a Masters of Economics course, they should be keen to pursue independent research which uses complex statistical data; be prepared to undertake exercises which require a comprehensive understanding of probability, calculus and linear algebra; be attracted to social issues; and be ready to apply their qualitative and quantitative research methodology to a widening spectrum of scenarios. Applicants should expect that the courses will frequently be updated to fit in with the latest theories and latest global and economic situations.

Some Master in Economics programmes ask for a GMAT or the GRE. It is therefore best to check with the institution that you wish to apply to. In order to enable institutions to assess whether you are ready for graduate-level study, some may request a short written description of any economics-related courses which you may have taken as part of your undergraduate programme of study.

What to Expect from a Master of Economics

The majority of Master of Economics programmes last for one or two years, full-time. If you have a day job, some programmes are also available part-time as evening classes or as online courses. A two-year postgraduate Economics programme is particularly suited to students without an economics or mathematics degree, thereby providing them with additional time in which to master the fundamental principles before then going on to study areas of specialisation.

Introductory courses in Economics involve the history and theory of economics, the types of economic systems (such as macroeconomics or microeconomics), economic policies, and how global economies work. Overall, courses will entail a great deal of analysis and research. Final assessment is usually in the form of a dissertation or a supervised final examination. Some institutions encourage students to undertake internships as well, preferably within a field that revolves around the subject of economics.

Lastly, pursuing a Master in Economics course is beneficial for students who are considering or intending to continue unto PhD-level. Ultimately, the expertise and knowledge gained through theoretical teaching and research, as well as the professional skills that such a postgraduate degree equips you with, cannot ever be deemed redundant to one’s career-oriented development. If you are seeking a versatile, knowledge-enriching postgraduate course, then it is certainly worth your time checking out the best Master in Economics programmes in town.

Alternatively, if you are still considering, check out what other academic programmes are available here

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